Here Grof presents a useful model of the psyche—a model extended by his thirty years of studying non-ordinary states of consciousness. It is useful for understanding such phenomena as shamanism, mysticism, psychedelic states, spontaneous visionary experiences, and psychotic episodes. The model is also useful in explaining the dynamics of experiential psychotherapies and a variety of sociopolitical manifestations such as war and revolution.
This book might have been entitled Beyond Drugs. The second part describes the principles and process of the non-pharmacological technique developed by the author and his wife Christina for self-exploration and for psychotherapy. Grof explores in detail the components of this technique. He describes its method, its effective mechanisms, as well as its goals and potential. Its practice is simple, since it utilizes the natural healing capacity of the psyche.
“The data, much of which is precious anecdotal material from the field's most creative explorer, stirs the mind to consider new possibilities. It is a wonderfully open and inviting text.” — Richard D. Mann
Stanislav Grof was formerly Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is currently Scholar-in-Residence at the Esalen Institute. His books Beyond the Brain and Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science are published by SUNY Press. Dr. Grof is also the author of Realms of Human Unconsciousness, LSD Psychotherapy, and Beyond Death (with Christina Grof).